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GMAC Reports Application Volume Growth for Full-Time Two-Year MBA Programs  

GMACThe number of people applying to full-time two-year MBA programs increased for the third consecutive year, according to recent data from the Graduate Management Admissions Council. GMAC’s 2014 Application Trends Survey, released earlier this week, showed that as two-year programs enjoyed application volume gains, other graduate management programs saw flattening or decreasing numbers of applicants.

The survey also revealed an increasingly global applicant pool, with GMAT testing trends showing that more students are seeking to study outside their country of citizenship. According to GMAC, these candidates make up a sizeable portion of the applicant pool for many MBA and non-MBA graduate management programs.

“Viewed in tandem, there is good news for both students and schools in this survey, as well as in our recent Corporate Recruiters Survey [released in May 2014], where four out of five companies said they planned to hire MBA graduates in 2014,” Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO, said in a statement.

The most recent Application Trends Survey found that 61 percent of participating full-time two-year MBA programs reported growth, up from 50 percent of programs last year and just 43 percent in 2012.

“For schools, the rise over the last three years in two-year applications is welcome,” Chowfla said. Notably, this year was the first in the past five when a majority of programs reported increased numbers of applicants.

“For students, GMAC’s Corporate Recruiters Survey may very well signal a change in hiring from a cost-driven, recession-driven organizational focus, to a growth-driven focus utilizing the skills that MBA programs are designed to develop,” Chowfla continued.

Full-time two-year MBA programs in the United States reported growth from both foreign candidates and domestic candidates. Sixty five percent of programs reported receiving more applications from foreign candidates this year over last, while 48 percent of programs reported receiving more applications from domestic candidates.

The GMAC survey revealed mixed results for other graduate management programs. Among specialized business master’s (non-MBA) programs, those in marketing and communications, information technology, management and accounting all experienced application growth this year, but Master of Finance programs saw application volume decline for a third consecutive year.

Application volume for professional MBA programs, including part-time, flexible, online and executive MBAs, remained flat as compared to last year. Meanwhile, six out of 10 business schools with one-year MBA programs reported declining application volume, a notable reversal of a two-year trend of slowing rising or steady volume for these program formats.

View GMAC’s 2014 Application Trends Survey Report.